Apr 16 2010

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – #24

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah -

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, oh
Lucy in the sky with diamonds

The song is Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, by The Beatles…again off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

At the time of its release, the Beatles claimed that the inspiration for the song came from a drawing by John Lennon’s son, Julian, which Julian called “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. The song sparked controversy when released, including being banned by the BBC because of the supposed reference to the drug LSD, with the first letter of each noun in the title spelling LSD. Although Lennon denied that the L-S-D in the title was a reference to the drug, McCartney later said it was “pretty obvious” that the song was inspired by LSD.

According to the Beatles, one day in 1966 Lennon’s son, Julian, came home from nursery school with a drawing he said was of his classmate, Lucy O’Donnell (later, Lucy Vodden), whom Julian drew with diamond-shaped eyes. Showing the artwork to his father, young Julian described the picture as “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds”. Julian later said, “I don’t know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I’d built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’”.
His son’s artwork appears to have inspired Lennon to draw heavily on his own childhood affection for Lewis Carroll’s “Wool and Water” chapter from Through the Looking-Glass. Carroll’s work has also been cited as an influence upon Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus” which refers to a character from Through the Looking-Glass and his two books, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works. As well as Carroll, other influences on the song include popular skits on British radio comedy programme (The Goon Show) making references to “plasticine ties”, which showed up in the song as “Plasticine porters with looking glass ties”.

It’s interesting that there is also an Alice In Wonderland tie-in with this song. I had no idea there was when I did my last piece Within You Without You. Serendipity I guess.

Photo credits:
GirlJesse Therrien
KaleidoscopeAlessandro Paiva
LightsIrina Naumets
FaceJason Antony
BackgroundMichal Zacharzewski
FlowersMario Sanchez